Tag: Japanese invasion

Janie Chang’s — The Library of Legends *****

Janie Chang’s — The Library of Legends *****

With the invasion of the Japanese into China in 1937, students at Minghua University leave their campus and escape on foot inland. Each student carries an original volume of the Library of Legends — a 500 year old collection of Chinese myths. Among them is Lian who learns from a letter that her mother is headed to Shanghai, but it is safer for her to stay with her professors and students. They walk mostly at night to avoid being spotted by enemy aircraft and while she walks, Shao and Sparrow befriend her. When they start out, it seems like a adventure, but soon they encounter starving refugees, Japanese bomber planes and death. 

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Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s — The mountains sing *****

Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s — The mountains sing *****

Huong is the granddaughter of Grandma Dieu Lan who learns about the Tran family’s tragedies through her Grandmother. In the 1950s when the Land Reform committee arrived in their northern Vietnamese village, everything they own is stripped from the family and their lives are in danger. Grandma’s brother, Cong is murdered but the rest of the family escapes with help from a faithful employee. But Grandma is without money, and as she journeys to Hanoi, her children become separated. Once Grandma Dieu Lan has re-established her life, the U.S. war on Vietnam begins decades later and her home is destroyed by bombs. Can she start over again? Can she find her children missing once the war is over?

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

Lisa See’s — The island of sea women *****

When I first began this book, I expected it to be like White chrysanthemum because both books focus on Haenyeo women of Jeju Island, South Korea, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. White Chrysanthemum lent towards comfort women while The island of sea women was about friendship among Haenyeo groups during the country’s turbulent times and the need to forgive.

Not only was the story a page turner, but the lives of these unique groups of women along Jeju’s coastline who support their families while the husbands stay home to care for their children was a fascinating background setting.

Shan Sa’s — The girl who played Go

Shan Sa’s — The girl who played Go

A sixteen year old school girl is not interested in marrying her cousin Lu or her lover, Min. All she wants to do is play Go and hang out with Min and Jing — the two boys who are both in love with her.

Waiting for an opponent in the Square of a Thousand Winds, a disguised Japanese soldier approaches and she invites him to play the board game. The game progresses day after day against a background of Japan’s invasion of Manchuria. The soldier becomes intrigued, but nothing can prepare them for their final meeting.